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Article

Jesse McEntee

Food deserts are an attractive metaphor, but because defining this phrase and actually identifying food deserts as geographic places are a contentious endeavour, it is…

Abstract

Purpose

Food deserts are an attractive metaphor, but because defining this phrase and actually identifying food deserts as geographic places are a contentious endeavour, it is more revealing to discuss related terms. Inherent in the debate around food deserts (i.e. how they are defined, if and where they exist) is the topic of access. The central purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that access is a more accurate and less misleading concept than food deserts when it comes to highlighting food inequalities.

Design/methodology/approach

Social exclusion, choice, food security, and public health are fields on which the paper draws. The proposition is that food security studies have entered a postmodern food security paradigm, which can readily be seen in US‐based community food security efforts.

Findings

Progressing beyond the initial attention‐grabbing nature of the food desert term, a conceptually thin foundation is discovered that impedes universal understanding and acknowledgment that areas of inadequate food access do exist. Food access, on the other hand, is an established phrase that has evolved and been applied in different arenas to address food security. Food access is a readily understood concept that can be tailored to specific applications; whether it is physical, economic, or informational food access.

Originality/value

It is proposed here that access is a more accurate and less misleading concept than food deserts when it comes to highlighting food inadequacies.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 111 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article

Francine Rodier, Fabien Durif and Myriam Ertz

Previous research has extensively examined “food deserts,” where access to healthy food is limited. However, little is known of the buying behavior at the individual…

Abstract

Purpose

Previous research has extensively examined “food deserts,” where access to healthy food is limited. However, little is known of the buying behavior at the individual household level in terms of buying habits and consumption in these areas. The purpose of this paper is to determine to what extent other factors than access can account for the purchase of healthy food products, namely, fruits and vegetables.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper proposes to partially fill this gap through a qualitative (n=55) and quantitative (n=512) study of those people who are in charge of their household purchases in two food deserts in the city of Montreal.

Findings

Results show that geographical access to supermarkets is not the main factor fostering the purchase of healthy foods (fruits and vegetables). Indeed, food education (e.g. information, simple recipes, cooking classes), associated with a changing mediation process through product diversification (e.g. availability of local products in bulk) and supply (e.g. farmers) seems to be more significant.

Research limitations/implications

Future studies could compare the results obtained through this study in different socio-demographic contexts. Longitudinal analyses could also increase the understanding of the social and commercial challenges.

Originality/value

In contrast to previous studies, the results show that geographical access to supermarkets is not the main factor fostering the purchase of fruits and vegetables. Indeed, food education (e.g. information, simple recipes, cooking classes), associated with a changing mediation process through product diversification (e.g. products in bulk) and supply (e.g. farmers) seem to be more significant.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 119 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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Book part

Amy Jonason

As a movement for alternative means of food production and consumption has grown, so, too, have civic efforts to make alternative food accessible to low-income persons…

Abstract

Purpose

As a movement for alternative means of food production and consumption has grown, so, too, have civic efforts to make alternative food accessible to low-income persons (LIPs). This article examines the impact of alternative food institutions (AFIs) on low-income communities in the United States and Canada, focusing on research published since 2008.

Methodology/approach

Through a three-stage literature search, I created a database of 110 articles that make empirical or theoretical contributions to scholarly knowledge on the relationship of AFIs to low-income communities in North America. I used an in vivo coding scheme to categorize the impacts that AFIs have on LIPs and to identify predominant barriers to LIPs’ engagement with AFIs.

Findings

The impacts of AFIs span seven outcome categories: food consumption, food access and security, food skills, economic, other health, civic, and neighborhood. Economic, social and cultural barriers impede LIPs’ engagement with AFIs. AFIs can promote positive health outcomes for low-income persons when they meet criteria for affordability, convenience and inclusivity.

Implications

This review exposes productive avenues of dialogue between health scholars and medical sociology and geography/environmental sociology. Health scholarship offers empirical support for consumer-focused solutions. Conversely, by constructively critiquing the neoliberal underpinnings of AFIs’ discourse and structure, geographers and sociologists supply health scholars with a language that may enable more systemic interventions.

Originality/value

This article is the first to synthesize research on five categories of alternative food institutions (farmers’ markets, CSAs, community gardens, urban farms, and food cooperatives) across disciplinary boundaries.

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Article

Hillary Shaw

The purpose of this paper is to investigate access to grocery retailing in Nantes, France.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate access to grocery retailing in Nantes, France.

Design/methodology/approach

The spatial distribution of all grocery retailers in Nantes was mapped. Socio‐demographic data as supplied by INSEE was mapped for Nantes, and these data used to determine areas of poor access to healthy food, e.g. fresh fruit and vegetables retailing.

Findings

There are six areas of Nantes which appear to have both poor physical access to grocery retailing and a socio‐demographic profile which suggests people living there may have difficulties in travelling to remote shops. These six areas generally do not coincide with the officially‐recognised ZUS deprived areas of Nantes.

Research limitations/implications

Data on obesity and related medical conditions were absent from INSEE, limiting the analysis that could be performed. The data were also liable to errors such as MAUP and ecological fallacy; however, the spatial detail was sufficient for meaningful conclusions to be drawn.

Practical implications

Previous food and dietary research in France has concentrated on economic factors mediating diet. There has been less research on spatial access to food and any correlations with areas of poverty or areas with other populations, e.g. pensioners, who may find travel to remote shops difficult. This research investigates these spatial linkages. Officially‐recognised areas of poverty in Nantes (ZUS areas) are not the areas presenting the most problematical physical access to healthy food retailing, therefore research based on financial aspects alone may miss some areas of difficult food access.

Originality/value

The spatial patterns of food access in Nantes, and the implications for targeting research and policy initiatives to these areas, have not previously been researched.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 114 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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Article

Sarah Bowyer, Martin Caraher, Kay Eilbert and Roy Carr‐Hill

This paper aims to measure access to food in an inner London borough.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to measure access to food in an inner London borough.

Design/methodology/approach

There were six phases, which included designing food baskets, consultation with local residents and a shop survey. Recognising the cultural make‐up of the borough food baskets and menus were developed for four key communities, namely: White British, Black Caribbean, Turkish, and Black African. Three areas were identified for the study and shopping hubs identified with a 500‐metre radius from a central parade of shops.

Findings

The findings paint an intricate web of interactions ranging from availability in shops to accessibility and affordability being key issues for some groups. It was found that in the areas studied there was availability of some key healthy items, namely fresh fruit and vegetables, but other items such as: fresh meat and poultry, fish, lower fat dairy foods, high fibre pasta and brown rice were not available. Access was found to be defined, by local people, as more extensive than just physical distance to/from shops – for many shopping was made more difficult by having to use taxis and inconvenient buses. Small shops were important in delivering healthy food options to communities in areas of deprivation and were judged to offer a better range and more appropriate food than the branches of the major supermarket chains.

Research limitations/implications

The importance of monitoring the impact of shops and shop closures on healthy food availability is emphased. From a policy perspective the findings suggest that approaches based on individual agency need to be balanced with upstream public health nutrition approaches in order to influence the options available.

Originalty/value

The paper is arguably the first to examine and dissect the issue of food availability and accessibility in the inner London borough in question, especially in the light of its proposed redevelopment for the London Olympics in 2012.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 111 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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Article

Lisa C. Wilson, Andrew Alexander and Margaret Lumbers

Decentralisation of many food retailers to edge‐of‐town and out‐of‐town locations has resulted in some older people experiencing difficulty in accessing food shops and…

Abstract

Decentralisation of many food retailers to edge‐of‐town and out‐of‐town locations has resulted in some older people experiencing difficulty in accessing food shops and those experiencing the greatest difficulties in food shopping are considered to be at the greatest nutritional risk. The present study examines how and to what extent usage of, and physical access to food shops might influence dietary variety. Shopping behaviour and dietary variety are investigated using focus groups, a consumer questionnaire and a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). A dietary variety score system, developed from the FFQ, is employed in this study. Neither usage of (particular) food shops nor basic accessibility variables are found to have a direct effect on dietary variety. Yet, coping strategies employed by older consumers to obtain food are revealed to be important. This suggests that more complex access factors remain an important issue for study in relation to the shopping experience of a proportion of the older population.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

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Article

David Fitch

Interest is increasing interest in the links between social exclusion and access to both grocery and retail stores. There is however little knowledge of the extent to…

Abstract

Interest is increasing interest in the links between social exclusion and access to both grocery and retail stores. There is however little knowledge of the extent to which consumers lack convenient access to retail facilities. Data from 30,000 households from the 1999‐2000 Scottish household survey were analysed to measure opinions on the convenience of local food stores and the quality and convenience of local shops and link these perceptions to a series of economic and social indicators. One out of every ten Scots households believes they do not have convenient access to a local food store, an issue which affects both rural and urban residents. Scots were also found to be very ambivalent about local stores, while e‐commerce is shown to have limited applicability as an alternative to local retail provision, particularly as an alternative source of food and groceries.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

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Article

Angela J.M. Donkin, Elizabeth A. Dowler, Simon J. Stevenson and Sheila A. Turner

Access to food is currently on the political agenda. This paper presents a quantitative method for local level use to help identify the geographic location of areas with…

Abstract

Access to food is currently on the political agenda. This paper presents a quantitative method for local level use to help identify the geographic location of areas with inadequate access to food. A census of retail outlets selling food of any kind was carried out in a deprived area within a 2km radius from a central point between two estates. Information on the price and availability of “healthy” food lists, acceptable to each of the four major ethnic groups in the area, was collected. The food lists were not mutually exclusive. Food shops were mapped in terms of food availability and price indices using Geographical Information System (GIS) software. Maps show, progressively: roads within/outside 500m of a postcode with any outlet selling food; any outlet selling more than 50 per cent of the food list, below the area mean price, acceptable to a Gujarati Hindu; the latter in relation to population density. Within the area analysed there appears to be reasonable walking access to the more reasonably priced shops within the area, however the cost of a healthy diet would still require more than 50 per cent of the income of someone in receipt of income support.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 101 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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Article

Iddrisu Yahaya, Krishna P. Pokharel, Abdul-Fatahi Alidu and Fred Amofa Yamoah

The purpose of this paper is to understand the impact of participation in sustainable agricultural intensification practices (SAIPs) on household food security status in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the impact of participation in sustainable agricultural intensification practices (SAIPs) on household food security status in Northwestern Ghana.

Design/methodology/approach

The study utilised the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS) indicator for the measurement of food access data from 168 households in ten communities from the Northwestern region of Ghana for the analyses. Households were categorised into participating households (treatment) and non-participating households (control). The endogenous treatment effects model was employed to evaluate the impact of participation in SAIPs training on food insecurity access scale.

Findings

The results show that participation in SAIPs training lowers, on average, the household food insecurity access by 2.95 points, approximately an 11 per cent reduction in HFIAS score. Other significant factors found to influence household food insecurity access scale are age of household head, experience in farming, total acres owned by household, income level of the household and occupation of the head of the household.

Research limitations/implications

The training programme of participation in SAIPs has massive implications for food security, rural economy and farmers’ livelihoods. However, due to the unique conditions prevailing in Northwestern Ghana, the findings of this research are limited in terms of their generalisability. Future research direction in the area of SAIPs trainings and impact study replications in all qualifying rural food production areas in Ghana, which are susceptible to household food insecurity, will provide a national picture of the efficacy of SAIPs trainings on household food insecurity.

Practical implications

A proven means to decrease natural resource degradation, increase crops yields, and increase subsistence farmers’ income, and food security is an important intervention to resolve the seasonal food shortage, which last for five months in a typical year for agro-food-dependent farming communities in Northwestern Ghana.

Social implications

Ensuring household food security improvement and environmental sustainability will help improve living standards of food producers and reduce the adverse social challenges associated with food insecure communities such as health problems due to food deficiencies, social inequalities, environmental pollution and natural resource degradation in Northwestern Ghana.

Originality/value

The contribution of this paper is the novel thought and approach to examine the impact of the SAIPs trainings on household food security in Northwestern Ghana using the household food insecurity access scale indicator. The study also examined the factors that affect household food security using the endogenous treatment model, which also evaluates the impact of the training programme on the outcome variable.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 120 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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Article

A. Amarender Reddy, Ch. Radhika Rani, Timothy Cadman, Soora Naresh Kumar and Anugula N Reddy

The purpose of this paper is to measure performance of India in food and nutrition security relative to other Asian countries like Bangladesh, China, Africa and also…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to measure performance of India in food and nutrition security relative to other Asian countries like Bangladesh, China, Africa and also developed countries from 1991 to 2016.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on FAO food security indicators under four dimensions, namely, food availability, access, stability and utilization. These indicators are further categorized into determinants and outcome indicators of food security. A comprehensive fifteen indicators are examined in depth.

Findings

Food availability in terms of dietary calories and protein per capita was less in India compared to even Africa and Bangladesh. However, food access indicators like road density is better, food prices remain low and stable, which improved food access and stability. However, in utilization indicators, access to water and sanitation remained low, anaemia among pregnant women and undernourishment was relatively higher when even compared to least developed countries like Africa and Bangladesh. Depth of food deficit (an indicator of severity of food deficit) was higher in India except Africa.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should focus on policies for decreasing undernourishment and anaemia and severity in depth of food deficit with focus on India.

Practical implications

The results highlight the severity of food deficit and anaemia among women, undernourishment and provide benchmark to monitor sustainable development goals in zero hunger goal.

Originality/value

This study examined the relative performance of India in various food and nutrition security indicators in comparison to other countries.

Details

World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-5945

Keywords

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